Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on Bus Éireann to immediately suspend any proposals that would see the closure of its X7 Clonmel-Dublin service. Deputy McGrath was speaking after talks between senior management at Bus Éireann and representatives from the SIPTU Trade Union broke down yesterday at the Workplace Relations Commission yesterday:
“The message is not being heard at either government level or at the level of Bus Eireann that this is not simply a transport related issue.
These route closures represent a complete failure to provide a systemic, regionally focused approach to the needs of the rural Irish economy and rural Ireland in general.
We have the announcement of Rural Rejuvenation Plans and Action Plans to beat the band; but we have utterly failed to address the necessity of supporting and successfully managing a transport infrastructure that is capable of realising those objectives.
The provision of a publicly funded transport service is absolutely vital for Clonmel and other major urban centres.
This kind of withdrawal of service simply would not be tolerated if it occurred in either Dublin or the commuter belt counties.
I am calling not only on Bus Éireann and the Department of Transport, but also on the Taoiseach himself, to immediately convene a cross-departmental task force to try and address what is essentially a multi-faceted problem.
Every department from Transport and Tourism, to Rural Affairs and Local Community ought to have a stake in resolving this mess.
We cannot allow further deterioration of an already scaled back transport service to occur. It will inflict untold damage and major inconvenience on rural Ireland and that must be avoided at all costs,” concluded Deputy McGrath.